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Don’t “Go Compare!”

Milestones, transitions and rites of passage for children with additional needs.

Throughout the childhood and adolescence of any child there are many different kinds of milestones, transitions and rites of passage, many changes that come along, but for families of children with additional needs these can provide many opportunities for unhealthy comparison and a realisation of difference, which can sometimes be so difficult and painful.

Milestones might include developmental ones like learning to crawl, stand and walk; developing speech and communication; learning to ride a scooter or a bike. Milestones might also include changes as our child develops, such as puberty or reaching adulthood.

Transitions include big changes like starting nursery, then school; changing classes, schools, or moving from a mainstream school to a special school; maybe moving into higher education which might mean leaving home; moving into supported living as a young adult.

Rites of passage can be many and various but can include faith based events to welcome a child into the community or to recognise their faith; school based events such as the school prom, important exams, or graduation; life events such as a first boy/girl friend or going away on holiday without parents for the first time.

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(c) Evangelical Focus, used with permission